Aerogel has extraordinary properties but it can be tough to work with. This video looks at modifying aerogels to take advantage of their unique characteristics.
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Huge thanks to Dr. Stephen Steiner and the crew at Aerogel Technologies. To find out more or buy your own aerogel sample, check out:
Thanks to Dr. Steven Jones and Dr. Mihail Petkov at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
And thanks to FLIR for loaning us the awesome high definition thermal camera. The footage is amazing!
Aerogel’s extraordinary properties are due in large part to its structure. Aerogel is a solid but on the nanoscale it has a mesh or sponge-like structure. The struts of this structure are nanoscale, as are the pores at around 20nm across. This makes silica aerogel incredibly light (it was once the lightest solid but has now been superseded by graphene aerogel), transparent and adsorbent.
An ice-cube sized piece of aerogel has an internal surface area roughly equal to half a football field. Aerogel is used in high end museum cases to regulate humidity. Plus it helps maintain the vacuum on the Mars Insight seismometers – it adsorbs moisture and other outgassed volatiles that come from the spacecraft itself. Proposed uses include as a physical insecticide by ‘drying out insects’ reducing the need for chemical and toxic pesticides.
Special thanks to all my Patreon supporters especially those who contributed feedback to an earlier draft of this video:
a human, Albert Jachowicz-Brzeziński, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Brent Stewart, Chris Vargas, Chuck Lauer Vose, Clip Tree, Coale Shifflett, Colin Bellmore, DALE HORNE, Eric Velazquez, Fedor Indutny, Fran Rodriguez, James Wong, Jasper Xin, Joar Wandborg, Johnny, Jorge Angel Sandoval, June Kang, Kevin Beavers, Kishore Tipirneni, Levan Ferr, Listen Money Matters, Manuel Zürcher, Mark Bevilacqua, Mathias Göransson, Michael Bradley Wirz, Michael Krugman, Mohammed Al Sahaf, Nicholas Hastings, OddJosh, Patrick Čalija, Peter Tajti, Philipp Volgger, Roberto Rezende, Robin DeBank, Ron Neal, Stan Presolski, Swante Scholz, Tiago Bruno, Tige Thorman, Warrior8252
Filmed by Paul Gramaglia
Thumbnail by Ignat Berbeci
Animations by Catherine Chooljian
Music from “Tonic Zone” “Betelgeuse” “Insidious Mice” “Seaweed” “It’s not that serious” “Platin00m – Sum It”
This is an educational, scientific video.